Konrad Vilhelm Mägi

(1 November 1878 – 15 August 1925)

Konrad Mägi can be called the miracle of Estonian art. He had been given creation time of almost 18 years after which his legacy consists of at least 400 paintings. He is also known as one of the founders of art association Pallas. He has been driven to style changes by hikes and different residences, but the artist has often combined time and space as a new convincing whole. For Mäe art was not just an imitation, but always a self-expression, self-realization and creation of a new world based on impressions from the outer world. In his creations there is always a hint of the development of modern art, but it is approached in a completely personal way. For a few decades Konrad Mägi had been one of the most popular Estonian artists.

Konrad Mägi is often thought of as the most important painter in the history of Estonian art.

He received primary education at Tartu German Craftsmen Society’s drawing school and after that studied at Stieglitzi art school in St. Petersburg. In 1906 he went to Finland where he created his first landscape paintings in Åland. Years later Konrad Mägi moved to Paris to study at the free academies of Académie Colarossi and La Grande Chaumiére. From 1908 to 1910 he lived in Norway and from 1910 to 1912 again in Paris where he received further training at Académie Russe. After that he returned to his home country where he mostly resided in Tartu, but spent his summers painting at Saaremaa, Võrumaa and Viljandimaa. In Tartu Mägi founded and was the first director of the art school „Pallas“ that grew to be the stepping stone for many artists. In the beginning of 1920s Mägi travelled to Italy (worked on the island of Capri, in Rome and Venice) through Berlin, but his early resignation ended his intensive, fruitful and varied career as an artist.

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